Well friends, I know I may be a bit late to the party on this one but Storm Front is awesome. Seriously awesome. Me and my new mate Harry Dresden are gonna go on a lot of adventures I can tell, he’s a bloke you can really get behind you know? Not in that way!
Honestly what’s wrong with you people, even Bob is ashamed of you. Actually…Bob seems to be cheering you on. Never mind him. Air spirit doesn’t get out much, such a lazy-bones.
Right let’s put on our oh so stylish black dusters and find what’s so great about this novel. To kick it off I’m gonna say the blending of hardboiled detective storytelling coupled with low fantasy elements is fantastic. Magic is by its very nature intriguing. It is arcane, hidden, something the reader always wants to know more about. The same is true with grisly crime. You can’t turn from it, you won’t know why it happened by looking at it, and you don’t rest until you solve it. Coupling the gritty world of the private investigator with the magic of a hidden society really is a perfect cocktail to create intrigue.
The magic is one of those great systems with predefined rules that the characters act within, and which is internally consistent. Can’t really express how important that is to a novel set in a quasi-real setting. It makes the difference between a great novel where you try to think out the problems with the characters, and bad fanfiction of CSI crossed with Harry Potter (yes that exists). The first half uses very little magic. You get to know Harry as a private investigator first, see him track down clues and interrogate leads as you might expect of a PI in any detective novel you care to choose. But the second half comes in swinging with magic on every page. Spells hurtle out left and right, lightening is called from the sky, flames sent to crisp foes, the winds themselves throw demonic entities back to whence they came. All the while however, you get the sense that Harry is holding back just a bit. That if he wanted to, he could forget himself and let loose.
While the story and magic does take centre stage of the novel, I do like to think of it as a character piece. We follow Harry Dresden, professional wizard who lives apart from his kind. A man touched by darkness, alone in this world despite wanting nothing more than to protect those around him. A gentleman in an era of rogues. The intrigue in this novel was great as I said, but that’s not what’s going to get me to read the next one or the next. No what’s going to make devour this series is the desire to know Dresden. To see what made him who he is. To discover why he is so alone despite everything that should lead to the contrary.
As you’ve probably summarized by this point, I’m recommending you read this book. Get it today, and don’t put it down. Not even if a demon comes to stop you learning of them. Dresden has your back.
“I’d made the vampire cry. Great. I felt like a real superhero. Harry Dresden, breaker of monsters’ hearts.”
Amazon Link:Storm Front: The Dresden Files, Book One: 1